Engineers for Change supports the University of Sierra Leone in winning a grant to improve University Engineering Education in Sierra Leone.

Engineers for Change (Sierra Leone), in partnership with the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at the University of Sierra Leone (USL), Imperial College London and Leotech, successfully bid for a grant of £100,000 for the 2024 calendar year.

The project is based on the Hub and Spoke Model, with USL as the Hub institution. The grant is received from the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) under the Higher Education Partnership for Sub-Saharan Africa (HEP SSA). The project is titled Enhancing the Learning Models and Opportunities for University Engineering Education (ELMO).

The HEP SSA programme aims to ensure that the higher education system in sub-Saharan Africa produces engineers with the skills and knowledge required to meet the needs of industry and tackle local and global challenges.​ Grants are awarded to universities in sub-Saharan Africa for projects ranging from six months to two years.

The specific outcomes of the ELMO project will include the following:

  1. At the end of the project, two cohorts of the current Year 3 and 4 students would have delivered a group project based on an industry partner’s most significant technical problem.
  2. Graduates will be better prepared for the work environment, and the associated industries will be provided with recognised graduates who have developed skills and expertise in problem-based learning.
  3. Graduates will be provided with value-added skills and experiences, as well as specialist knowledge of the problems faced by industries working to tackle those associated with Water Supply and Sanitation (SDG6), Clean and Affordable Energy (SDG 7) and Gender Diversity & Inclusion (SDG 5). With an anticipated target of > 20% increase in job offers in the water supply, sanitation and energy sectors on graduation by the end of the ELMO Project.
  4. The hub university will formalise the introduction of industry engagement in identifying industry-based problem learning modules within the curriculum.
  5. The facilitation of industry specialists in delivering student lectures in the areas of clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, and gender inclusion.

The ELMO project is being led by Prof. Kelleh Gbawuru Mansaray, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone (USL).

The objectives of ELMO align with USL’s strategic plan for 2023 – 2028, which emphasises the need to improve the relevance and authenticity of its programmes through problem and outcome-based learning approaches. In this light, USL is highly committed to providing leadership in innovation through research and educational initiatives by providing strategic direction and coordination of the University’s contribution to national development.

The UK Partner and regional Spoke Universities will support the project with research and learning material and exchange programmes. These include:

  • Imperial College London, UK
  • Universite Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal
  • University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana
  • Eastern Technical University, Kenema, Sierra Leone

Engineers for Change (Sierra Leone) will provide project programme management expertise in delivering sustainable Change and will be supported by Leotech (Sierra Leone).

The students will deliver consultancy projects for organisations and companies working to improve water supply and sanitation (SDG6) and renewable energy (SDG7) in Sierra Leone.

Some of the industry partners will include:

  • Guma Valley Water Company
  • National Water Resources Management Agency
  • Freetown City Council
  • FLS Group
  • Energy Generation and Transmission Company
  • Easy Solar
  • Winch Energy
  • PowerGen Renewable Energy
  • Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre
  • Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers
  • GOAL – Sierra Leone